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Innovation and entrepreneurship in India: Understanding jugaad

Abstract

In this paper, we use the term jugaad to describe the frugal, flexible, and inclusive approach to innovation and entrepreneurship emerging from India. We articulate why this method is appropriate within the Indian context and highlight similarities between jugaad and related types of innovation originating from other emerging (and developed) economies. Next, we identify different types of organizations that engage in jugaad and elucidate their abilities, or lack thereof, to undertake such innovation. Finally, we incorporate the notion of jugaad within current theorizing on innovation and entrepreneurship and outline an agenda for future research on this topic. Overall, we provide insights on a mode of innovating that is increasingly prevalent in India as well as certain economies around the world and take steps towards integrating this concept into the mainstream theory, practice, and policy discourses around innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Notes

  1. This conceptualization resonates most closely with the notion of Gandhian innovation as discussed by Prahalad and Mashelkar (2010).

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Acknowledgments

We thank David Ahlstrom, Anil Nair, Orhun Guldiken, and Raza Mir for their detailed comments on earlier versions of this paper, and to Marc Ahlstrom of Burlington County College for his editorial assistance.

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Correspondence to Sanjay Jain.

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Both authors contributed equally to the crafting of this article and are listed in reverse alphabetical order (based on a coin toss).

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Prabhu, J., Jain, S. Innovation and entrepreneurship in India: Understanding jugaad . Asia Pac J Manag 32, 843–868 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-015-9445-9

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Keywords

  • Jugaad
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • India
  • Emerging economies
  • Growth